In just a week, families and friends will gather for Thanksgiving and enjoy many delicious foods and treats together. Can you imagine the mashed potatoes with gravy, grandma’s famous apple pie, and candied yams? In the preparation for the big day, you may not give a second thought to your teeth. Before you dig into the feast, consider these important dental tips.
Roast Turkey Tops the List
Turkey is the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving table. This delicious main dish has lots of protein and other health benefits. However, even the best-cooked bird can have stringy bits that may get stuck between your teeth. Bring along some dental floss to the family gathering and excuse yourself for a quick treatment after dinner.
Sticky Green Bean Casserole
A classic family favorite, green bean casserole comes with healthy vegetables but a generous helping of sticky soup or sauce that can cling to your teeth after the meal is done. Give your mouth a swish with water and floss to make sure no particles are left.
Pile Your Plate with Vegetables
Not only do vegetables without sauce taste delicious, but they also represent a healthy option for your teeth during the Thanksgiving celebration. Get calcium from leafy greens like spinach or kale. Improve gum health with vitamin C from orange and red vegetables like peppers and carrots.
Avoid Acidic Foods When Possible
For most people, Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy a true feast and not worry too much about their diet. If you focus is more on preserving dental hygiene, avoid acidic foods that may weaken your tooth enamel. At least mix different types of foods together and drink water to help wash the acid away. Some problem foods include wine, cranberry juice or sauce, and anything with citrus.
Put a Limit on Sugar
Holiday gatherings, the dessert table often looks as full as the dinner table. How can you enjoy Thanksgiving with your family and friends without a slice of pumpkin pie or apple crumble? If you opt for a fruit dessert, you do get some vitamins and fiber from that. Pumpkin and sweet potato, for example, have a lot of vitamin C and A. However, the high sugar content can work against your healthy teeth plans. Practice moderation and always finish with a swish of water.
Starches Turn Into Sugar, Too
It may seem obvious to avoid candied yams piled high with marshmallows, but mashed potatoes with a high starch content can also transform quickly to sugar when they come in contact with enzymes in your saliva. Potatoes do have a lot of nutrients like vitamin C, B6, and potassium. Other starches like bread rolls can have a lot of healthy fiber, too. You do not have to skip your favorite side dish. Just understand the importance of limits and proper oral hygiene soon after Thanksgiving dinner.
Bring along your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss to your holiday gathering year. Not only will you protect the health of your teeth and gums, you will also have fresh breath and whiter teeth for greeting family and friends all day long.